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Apple joins the top five UK PC vendors for the first time

by Scott Bicheno on 17 May 2011, 15:29

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Gartner (NYSE:IT)

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Contrasting fortunes

The technology market is increasingly looking like a one horse race these days, with Apple continuing to register healthy growth while everyone else struggles.  We've seen this in the mobile device market for some time, but now it's happening in the Western European PC market too.

The latest Gartner figures make grim reading for everyone except Apple. The Western European PC market declined by a whopping 18 percent in terms of year-on-year sales volume in the first quarter of 2011, with the UK performing the worst of the big three.

There are two main reasons for such a precipitous decline - the worst since the dotcom bubble burst. Firstly, everyone's skint. The state of public sector finances, the plight of the peripheral PIGS economies and anaemic growth have led to consumers - usually the bigger drivers of volume growth - being very cautious.

Don't forget these are volume figures, and the highest volume of sales generally comes at the entry level. A lot of the entry level volume during and after the recession has come from netbooks, with consumers seduced by the low price points. The advent of tablets has suddenly made netbooks look rather old hat, and many consumers who may have bought a netbook are at least pausing for thought as all these shiny new tablets come to market.

"This quarter's poor performance was due to excess inventory accumulated at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010 in many countries in Western Europe," said Gartner's Meike Escherich. "The excess inventory was reduced only slightly, as demand came to a standstill. The seasonal growth was also weaker than expected, indicating that the downward trend seen at the end of 2010 continued into the first quarter of 2011."

As you can see from the first table below, all of the top vendors got spanked bar Apple, which must be experiencing a great halo effect from its mobile device sales, and has seen its latest MacBook Air go down well. It must be so galling to all the other PC vendors frantically scrapping for single-digit margins, that the only OEM to experience growth typically sells its PCs for over a grand.

 

Table 1
Western Europe: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q11 (Thousands of Units)

 

Vendor

1Q11 Shipments

1Q11 Market Share (%)

1Q10 Shipments

1Q10 Market Share (%)

 

HP

3,439

23.4

4,088

22.8

-15.9

Acer Group

2,842

19.3

4,054

22.6

-29.9

Dell

1,413

9.6

1,812

10.1

-22.0

Asus

1,258

8.6

1,432

8.0

-12.2

Apple

966

6.6

878

4.9

10.0

Others

4,793

32.6

5,637

31.5

-15.0

Total

14,710

100.0

17,902

100.0

-17.8

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (May 2011)

 

Apple made its debut among the top five PC vendors, not just in Western Europe, but in the UK too, where it displaced Samsung. It's also worth noting that Acer fared better than Dell or Tosh, despite its well-publicised problems.

"For the second consecutive quarter both the professional and consumer markets recorded a decline," said Ranjit Atwal of Gartner. "The consumer market declined nearly 25 percent in the first quarter of 2011. The poor performance of this segment can be explained by a shift away from mini-notebooks by the PC channel. Vendors in the PC channel realigned to the weaker end-user demand for this platform, and they also realized that the subsidized selling model was not as effective as expected."

 

Table 2
United KingdomPC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q11 (Thousands of Units)

Company

1Q11 Shipments

1Q11 Market Share (%)

1Q10 Shipments

1Q10 Market Share (%)

1Q11-1Q10 Growth (%)

HP

634

23.1

709

21.4

-10.6

Acer Group

450

16.7

523

15.8

-14.0

Dell

429

16.4

620

18.7

-30.8

Toshiba

204

8.5

292

8.8

-30.0

Apple Computer

185

6.2

160

4.8

15.9

Others

830

29.1

1009

30.4

-17.7

Total

2,732

100.0

3,313

100.0

-17.5

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media Tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (May 2011)

 



HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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It seems the decline of netbooks is really hitting PC companies very hard. TBH,netbooks have been overpriced for years considering the level of usability they had.

Are there any figures to show what the sales are like excluding netbooks out of interest??
CAT-THE-FIFTH
It seems the decline of netbooks is really hitting PC companies very hard. TBH,netbooks have been overpriced for years considering the level of usability they had.

Are there any figures to show what the sales are like excluding netbooks out of interest??

I'm afraid not, but I don't think they ever got much higher than 20% of the total by volume.
Scott B;2079537
I'm afraid not, but I don't think they ever got much higher than 20% of the total by volume.

It would have been interesting to see whether the other companies have had higher end computer sales decline as much or not,ie,has Apple taken sales from them or is that part of the market more stable than the lower end.
CAT-THE-FIFTH
It would have been interesting to see whether the other companies have had higher end computer sales decline as much or not,ie,has Apple taken sales from them or is that part of the market more stable than the lower end.

You have to assume Apple has taken some high-end market share from them, but the bulk of the volume loss will have come from entry-level, which is where the iPad comes in.
Still don't see the iPad as competition for PCs or even NetBooks but I guess there were a lot of people out there who were under using their machines (email & social networking only) and if that's the case then they were just waiting for a product to suit there very limited needs.